SFA urged to 'do the right thing' by former top refs when considering Hibs Jimmy Jeggo red card appeal

Two former Scottish football Grade 1 referees have urged the Scottish FA to ‘do the right thing’ when considering Hibs’ bid to have Jimmy Jeggo’s sending-off against St Johnstone overturned.
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The Australian midfielder was given his marching orders by whistler Craig Napier following a challenge on Saints counterpart Connor McLennan during the 1-1 draw between the two teams at McDiarmid Park on Saturday. Hibs confirmed late on Sunday they had appealed the decision, claiming ‘wrongful dismissal’ having studied the incident from a number of angles.

Former SPL official Stuart Dougal has already described the challenge as a ‘potential legbreaker’ but two other experienced refs hope Scottish football’s governing body accept Hibs’ challenge and rescind the red card – although both feel the a similar incident involving Graeme Shinnie of Aberdeen the previous weekend may influence the panel’s decision when it convenes on Wednesday.

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Speaking to New Slots Klosh Steve Conroy said: “The fact that the SFA’s panel threw out the Shinnie appeal, and added another game, means they are now saying this is a red card offence. If I was on the panel for the Jeggo appeal I would say it’s not a red card.

Jimmy Jeggo looks frustrated as he leaves the field of play following his red cardJimmy Jeggo looks frustrated as he leaves the field of play following his red card
Jimmy Jeggo looks frustrated as he leaves the field of play following his red card

"I won’t hold my breath that the decision will be overturned, but will they add another game again? It was a controlled, almost graceful tackle. Craig Napier was behind it and, we’ve all been there, he’s maybe seen a straight leg but there wasn’t a straight leg.”

Conroy did offer some support to Napier following comments made by Hibs boss Lee Johnson and former Easter Road midfielder and manager John Collins aimed at Napier, criticising his performance and the red-card decision.

“Craig made a mistake but comments from John Collins that he shouldn’t work again and Lee Johnson calling it the worst refereeing performance he’s seen are ludicrous,” he added.

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Des Roache concurred: “It was a controlled challenge. Yes, it will look horrific if you freeze-frame it but despite what a former colleague said elsewhere it’s not a lunge. It was a good, honest challenge – not a red card – but for Craig to come in trigger-happy and flash it, I don’t think there is any doubt it’s a reaction to the Graeme Shinnie incident the previous week."

Both Conroy and Roache admitted their surprise that neither the fourth official nor the VAR intervened in the aftermath of the incident, which happened in the early stages of the second half on Saturday.

"I cannot believe that VAR didn’t get involved in that,” Conroy continued. “When it’s a clear and obvious error that’s when VAR gets involved and this would have been the perfect scenario,” with Roache adding: “It astounds me that neither the fourth official nor the VAR got involved.”

Former English Premier League referee Dermot Gallagher said during his Ref Watch segment on Sky Sports that the decision ‘could have gone either way’, adding: “He lunges, he gets a lot of the ball, but he gets the man as well. He does get a lot of the ball and he is low, but I think it’s all about the referee’s decision is on the field. I didn’t think Graeme Shinnie’s appeal would win, and he didn’t, but I think Jeggo’s is a different tackle.”

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